Presentation Title

The Fossil Fuel Industry's Hegemonic Role in Youth Education

Presenter Information

Baleigh Epperly

Document Type

Panel Presentation

Keywords

Youth Education, Hegemony, West Virginia

Biography

Baleigh Epperly is a Sociology Major and Minor in Psychology and Studio art, who was born in Charleston, West Virginia. She is the President and co-founder of Marshall Sustainability Club who led an effort to Marshall becoming the first school in Appalachia to sign the Break Free from Plastic Pledge. She is also the Vice Chair on the board of Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, and an intern with Post-Landfill Action Network. She is passionate about social- environmental justice and is a self-proclaimed Artivist, an artist and activist whose work is inspired by nature, outer space, and human rights.

Major

Sociology

Advisor for this project

Kristi Fondren

Start Date

22-4-2021 9:15 AM

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship and potential influence that the fossil fuel industry has on youth via education in West Virginia and to analyze the claims being made and presented to young people by the fossil fuel industry.

Previous research has identified the fossil fuel (particularly coal) industry’s pervasive and hegemonic role in the state’s political, economic, social and cultural landscape. This role has created a state of socio-economic dependency for citizens in Central Appalachia. Such has been analyzed through sociological and ethnographic measures, yet a gap exists in regard to how this relationship is manifested through youth education and outreach.

To fill this gap, a content analysis was conducted through research of various online source content from the last 10 years, including, but not limited to, fossil fuel youth education programs, corporation websites (including their philanthropic work), and other education sites. Using the theories of claims making and framing devices I developed a system for coding the content taken from relevant sites.

Preliminary findings suggest a prominent narrative of social corporate responsibility to educate and engage youth to develop a positive cultural, environmental, economic and personal association with the fossil fuel industry.

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Apr 22nd, 9:15 AM

The Fossil Fuel Industry's Hegemonic Role in Youth Education

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship and potential influence that the fossil fuel industry has on youth via education in West Virginia and to analyze the claims being made and presented to young people by the fossil fuel industry.

Previous research has identified the fossil fuel (particularly coal) industry’s pervasive and hegemonic role in the state’s political, economic, social and cultural landscape. This role has created a state of socio-economic dependency for citizens in Central Appalachia. Such has been analyzed through sociological and ethnographic measures, yet a gap exists in regard to how this relationship is manifested through youth education and outreach.

To fill this gap, a content analysis was conducted through research of various online source content from the last 10 years, including, but not limited to, fossil fuel youth education programs, corporation websites (including their philanthropic work), and other education sites. Using the theories of claims making and framing devices I developed a system for coding the content taken from relevant sites.

Preliminary findings suggest a prominent narrative of social corporate responsibility to educate and engage youth to develop a positive cultural, environmental, economic and personal association with the fossil fuel industry.